If you’re interested in becoming a marine life steward or learning about environmental conservation, look no further than the Florida Oceanographic Center. The 57-acre marine life nature center on Hutchinson Island offers daily educational programs and hands-on learning for all ages and recently unveiled its new Ocean EcoCenter as part of the first phase of its multimillion-dollar capital expansion.
After immersing yourself in the 2,000 gallons of aquariums teeming with local marine life, be sure to check out the center’s cool special exhibits: Estuaries features a life-like display of mangroves weaving in and out of aquarium tanks, mimicking the Indian River Lagoon. And Life Along the Shore replicates Bathtub Beach and its vibrant ecosystem. Also worth noting is the Exploration Lab, which acts as a space to host events, summer camp, and soon, family-friendly activities like interactive puzzles, games, and more.
“With this new expansion, we hope to provide locals with a sense of shared community purpose,” says Executive Director Mark Perry. “Our oceans and waterways are a big part of what makes the Treasure Coast a treasured place, and part of the story we hope our Ocean EcoCenter conveys is that our actions matter, and how we treat our environment matters.” Next up in the capital expansion is the Frances Langford Visitor’s Center renovation, which will include expanding the footprint of the gift shop.